Prom and Prejudice
This teen romance by Elizabeth Eulberg is published by Point, an imprint of Scholastic, Inc., and written for kids ages 13 to 18. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
In this modern-day version of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Lizzie Bennett attends the elite Longbourn Academy for Girls on a music scholarship. Wealthy classmates, who don't believe there's room at Longbourn for anyone without money and proper breeding, often snub or pull pranks on Lizzie. She tries to focus on excelling at piano while avoiding the discussions of trust funds, designer clothes and most of all, prom. Prom is the official entry into high society for Longbourn girls. Fashion editors from Vogue and The New York Times report on the event, while girls have famous designers create their gowns. Lizzie's wealthy but kind roommate, Jane, is already starting her fittings. This semester, Charles Bingley, the boy Jane likes, is returning from a semester in London. If he'll ask her to prom, all will be right with the world.
Lizzie and Jane attend a back-to-school mixer with the neighboring boys school, Pemberley. Jane reconnects with Charles and introduces Lizzie to his sullen friend, Will Darcy. Will immediately alienates and enrages Lizzie with his rude comments about scholarship students. Yet in an effort to support Jane, Lizzie attends a ski weekend at the Bingleys' cottage with Jane, Charles, Will and Charles' sister, Caroline. Egotistical and snobbish, Caroline snubs Lizzie most of the weekend while flirting shamelessly with the disinterested Will.
Lizzie returns to her job at the Java Junction that Sunday night where she meets a charming, handsome townie named George Wickham (Wick). She learns he was kicked out of Pemberley. He tells her the charges were trumped up by none other than Will Darcy, who was jealous of Wick's growing friendship with Will's father. Lizzie and Wick go out the next night, bonding over their dislike of Will and the Longbourn/Pemberley prejudice they've both encountered as commoners.
Wick stands Lizzie up at a party, which she attends with Jane and Jane's immature younger sister, Lydia. Lydia makes a fool of herself on the dance floor and taints the family name. Wick visits Lizzie at Java Junction and announces his relationship with a wealthy Longbourn girl whose father can help him in his career. He clearly doesn't care for the new girl, but he tries to make Lizzie understand he has to take advantage of every opportunity. When that relationship quickly ends, Wick begins flirting with Lydia.
Meanwhile, Charles suddenly ignores Jane without explanation. Lizzie grows angrier than ever at Will, blaming him for urging Charles to dump her friend. Will begins showing up at Java Junction during Lizzie's shifts, and she allows him to walk her home for safety reasons. She feels increasingly comfortable in his presence, but is still angry and conflicted about his behavior toward Wick and Jane. When Will shocks her by asking her to prom, Lizzie explodes with accusations about his treatment of others. He later sends her an e-mail explaining he helped get Wick ejected from Pemberley only after Wick stole from the Darcys and tried to take advantage of Will's younger sister, Georgie.
Will stays away from Lizzie but helps get Jane and Charles back together. Lizzie practices hard for an upcoming recital to keep her mind off of Will. Her teacher rewards her efforts by giving her two tickets to Carnegie Hall to see her hero, Claudia Reynolds, play piano. She takes her mother, and they receive an invitation to a party at Claudia's afterward. Lizzie discovers Claudia is Will's mother. She also meets Will's beloved sister, Georgie, who immediately admires her.
While Georgie and Will are visiting Lizzie in Hoboken, Lizzie receives a desperate call from Jane saying Lydia has run off with Wick. Will sends Georgie home, and he, Lizzie and Jane track the couple down. They're drunk in a hotel room, where it appears Wick is preparing to take advantage of Lydia. While the girls try to get Lydia sober, Will calls in his father's head of security to set Wick straight.
Lizzie performs wonderfully at her concert, which Georgie, Claudia and Will attend. Will tells her he has no intention of asking her to prom again. Instead, he wants them to have a relaxing, non-superficial evening away from the snobbery of their schools. Lizzie is thrilled, because her relationship with Will is real and not simply an attempt to impress society.
Lizzie prays Charles isn't like the other Pemberley guys, for Jane's sake.
After Lydia's indiscretion with Wick, her agnostic parents take her to visit a Catholic school with nuns, uniforms, locked gates and no boys. They want to "scare her straight” by showing her this is where she'll end up if there's any more trouble.
Other Belief Systems
Lizzie leaves a party early so she won't "tempt fate” and become the object of her classmates' pranks.
Crap and h--- each appear once.
Lizzie says a boy at a party watched her chest the whole time they were talking. Characters frequently kiss one another on the cheeks by way of greeting. Caroline flirts with Will by stretching in a way that shows off her midriff. Wick gets young teen girls Georgie and Lydia drunk, preparing to take advantage of them.
Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at ThrivingFamily.com/discuss-books.
Alcohol: At the Bingleys' ski cottage, Caroline suggests they open a bottle of wine. They don't end up doing so. Wick gets young teen girls Georgie and Lydia drunk before trying to take advantage of them.
Lying: Lizzie lies to get Lydia alone so she can question the girl about why she's with Wick. Lizzie also lies to her mom, telling her that prom isn't a big deal at her school.
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Readability Age Range
13 to 18
Point, an imprint of Scholastic, Inc.